As entrepreneurs, we are often trying to juggle all the things to ensure our business is running in top gear – and this includes making sure our team is happy.
Sometimes we focus so much on ensuring our team is highly engaged that it can actually be to our – and their – detriment.
Not sure what I mean?
A few years ago, I wanted one of my team members to feel super happy they chose to work in my business, with me.
So how did I go about achieving this? Simple. I became their biggest cheerleader.
It looked a lot like this…
- I was so so supportive
- Super encouraging and
- Always making sure they felt comfortable at every opportunity
I thought I was doing a great job at managing them and while this might sound good on paper, the reality was that I wasn’t doing them or me any favours.
By acting this way, holding on so tight to keep them happy
I was NOT letting THEM hold responsibility for themselves and their own performance.
Read that line again. It’s a biggie.
That’s right – by bouncing around them with my pom poms at the ready almost all the time, even band-aiding mistakes by just fixing it myself – it meant that they didn’t notice when they weren’t doing their jobs well.
This may work ok for everyone for a little while, but eventually, you end up deciding you’ve had enough.
I sure had. I became tired and exhausted from trying to do #allthethings and if I’m honest…I got resentful that they weren’t stepping up the way I actually wanted them to.
So how did I turn it around from cheerleader with pom poms to an empowering and inspiring leader with clear and kind expectations?
It started with sitting my team member down and having that (well overdue) conversation. Finally sharing with them everything that actually wasn’t working for me.
Which came as a huge surprise to them.
Because, you know… where had that cheerleader gone? And why did I keep quiet when everything wasn’t quite so dandy all along?
Thankfully I’ve gotten a whole lot better at this and if any of this story resonates with you and where you’re currently at… I want you to know it’s possible to get back on track and align with the leader you really want to be and need to be.
For both you and your business! Where to start?
More honest leading.
More open and motivating conversations and much clearer, better expectation setting.
Responsibility on them to do the work .
Responsibility on me (you!) to be clear.
And do you want to know the big thing that I now realise I was doing wrong in those early days of adjusting to being a leader in my own business?
I was making it personal.
So very personal.
I knew I wanted more from my team.
But, I was afraid to rock the boat, seem mean or trigger a team member to leave me in the lurch.
But here’s the thing.
You should want more.
You should expect more.
Because, we should all be always on a path of improvement and growth… improving ourselves, our business and of course, lifting each other up along the way.
But the problem is that most of us make it personal.
We make it about us as individuals, rather than making it about the business.
So if you are reading this wondering if you are too, then I want to help you to make this feel really clear and get you on the path to a high performing team lead by an inspiring leader (you!)
Here it is :-
You are not your business.
Your business is a thing, separate to you.
YOU are the CEO (of your business) and it’s your job to move your business forward from where it is now…to where it needs to be.
And there are clear results that you need from your team, for that to happen.
You might be the one setting the goals and deciding what return you want from your business.
But you are still not your business.
So, you aren’t being mean when you have high expectations for the people working for you.
It’s not unreasonable to be crystal clear on what your business needs to get bigger and better results.
In fact, it’s pretty darn smart!
And being liked? Well that one might be beneficial, but it’s actually not essential.
So let’s summarise this:
Nice to have.
Your team members working in line with your values, your business goals and able to deliver your outcomes?
Because, expecting a clear set of outcomes for your team, in exchange for the investment your business is making (by paying them), is not personal.
If this is resonating with you, here is one tiny way you can make that shift in your business today.
Substitute “Can you to do this for me” with “What the business requires is….” (and be really specific)
And notice how different that feels.
And in time, how different that looks – in your office, with your team and in their performance towards your business goals.
Less cheerleading….more leading your business to your goals!
Come on over and join me and other successful entrepreneurs for more team buildling tips and weekly live trainings in my Facebook group, Savvy CEO Secrets for Entrepreneurs.
If you're growing a team in-house or online, Paula Maidens can help!